Skip to main content

Full text of "Greg Brown | Senior Composition Recital"

See other formats



NOVEMBER 17, 2012, 5PM 

This recital is dedicated to anyone who, 

by accident or on purpose, 

has played the role of an educator. 


The First Amendment to the 

United States Constitution 

text by James Madison 

Martin Luther King Jr. Letters 

text by Martin Luther King Jr. 

the joyful news of your arrest 

text by Alice Walker 


Nate Hussell, Kane Furhman | trumpets 

Jackson Hopkins | horn 

Casey Klint | trombone 

Jeff Jacobson \ tuba 

Mike Williams | percussion 

Michael Maher I narrator 

John Slick | conductor 

Haruka Yonezowa, Andrew Wassum, 

Ben Simmons, Graham Harris, 

Alex Flanigan | saxophones 

Andrew Golden, Kane Furhman, 

Kyle Albright, Nate Hussell \ trumpets 

Pat Vona, Matt Kingsbury, Casey Klint, 

Bryan Woodward | trombones 

Camille Johnson, Emily Taslim, Alex Salser, 

CJ Fiandra, Keita Katsumi \ rhythm section 


SMALL PIECE Andrew Wassum | alto saxophone 

THIS MOMENT Ryan Romine | bassoon 
3. Look (interlude) 

I COULD LEAVE ALL THIS Brittany McGaffic, Linda Cirba, 

1. Guppy Kipyn Martin, Ivette Farciet-Vivar 

2. I can't find my money 

3. Love and Wisdom 

4. Fall Blues 

text by Jose Padua 



Thankyousomuchforbeinga part of this very strange concert. I always 
thought the idea of a composition recital was a little self-indulgent, but 
I came to realize that this recital is not about me in the slightest. The 
truth is, no concert is ever about any single person-rather it is about 
each and every individual who took the time to dedicate him- or herself 
to the creation of music. Art exists for the purpose of sharing, and it 
is a magnificent thrill for me that so many unique individuals with a 
variety of skill-sets could come together to put this little bit of positive 
energy into the world. Just by being here, by sitting in your seat and 
listening, you are a part of this positive energy as well, and there is no 
conceivable number of thanks that could repay people like you. 

In this program, I have tried to represent my development over the 
course of my undergraduate years. Although four out of the five pieces 
you will hear are premieres, each work stands for a different thread 
of my development in this time. From a large piece to some small 
ones; from instrumental to vocal music; electronic, acoustic, political, 
personal, programmatic to purely absolute-l think that the universe 
has conspired to inspire me to bring you here to experience manifold 
interpretations of this strange thing we call life, all through the medium 
of music. 

This recital would not have been possible with the support of my 
friends and family, especially Mom and Dad, Max, Brittany, Brian, Robin, 
and Alex. Also thank you to the people who helped bring this event 
to life, recording and audio engineers Steve Cusick and Bobby Finley, 
Gina Giampaolo designed the recital posters (go to her website www. to see more of her stunning work!), and Brittany Luby 
( designed the program that you hold in your 
hands. Thank you to all of the musicians, especially Dr. Romine and 
Andrew for their dedication to the creation of new music. Downtown 
Winchester Merchants, especially Charlie Fish of Murphy Beverage 
Co., Lanita at the Espresso Bar, and the awesome Tracy Marlatt at 
the Shenandoah Arts Council. Shenandoah University people: Cathy 
Kuehner, Colleen and Gina at The 'Doah, the always spirited Petra 
Schweizer, Haden with Upstream Radio, my teachers, all inspiring in 
their own very unique ways, Dr. David Little, Dr. Tom Albert, Dr. Damon 
Talley, Dr. Will Averitt, Dr. Ruby Fulton, Mr. Carl Rowe, Miss Elizabeth 
Temple, Mr. Alan Baylock, the SU composition studio of past, present, 
and future; and the list goes on and on. If you are reading this, thank 
you for being here, thank you for supporting new music. 


DECLARATION FROM This piece is a statement about control over one's 
THE OCCUPATION destiny. Inspired by the Occupy Wall Street 

(2011-2012) movement that began in September 2011, I have 
tried to use examples from different points in 
American history to show the kind of things that 
a society can achieve when people set aside 
petty differences and work toward something 
bigger. The music and choice of texts is the 
result of my guttural reaction to the Occupy 
movement's rise and fall; the first movement 
is a declaration of willingness to fix something 
whenever it is broken; the second movement 
(excerpts MLK's Letter from a Birmingham Jail 
and Paul's Letter to American Christians) is a call 
to action to those who are disenfranchised, while 
reproaching the disenfranchisers; and the third, 
using a poem written in direct response to the 
Occupy movement, is a celebration for those who 
will not be told that they cannot fix what is truly 
in their hands to begin with. I want this piece to 
say that it is each generation's job to ensure that 
the next generation has it better than the last. 
As individuals we can enrich and enlighten those 
around us, and as groups we can fight the unruly 
hand of the individuals who oppress the masses. 
This piece is very gratefully dedicated to Robin 
Rhodes for being a motivator. 

FOUNDATION Inspired by minimalism and the incredible 

(2012) number of ways composers from the latter half 
of the 20th century could expand upon a very 
small number of ideas, this piece amounts to my 
senior thesis. The entire work is an exploration 
of a single rhythm and the melodic contour that it 
accompanies. From the overall form down to very 
specific details, nearly everything in this eleven 
minute piece is a direct or tangential reference to 
that idea. The instrumentation, for jazz ensemble 
with piano four-hands, features three improvised 
solos as well as mechanical and strict interlocking 
parts. The dedication to Will Averitt is made with 
much appreciation for the knowledge and wisdom 
shared over the four years spent with him as my 
first composition teacher. 





When Andrew asked me to write him a piece, I 
was very keen on finding ways to appreciate sound 
outside of the sounds themselves. I can recall 
many special musical experiences in Armstrong, 
Goodson, and other non-SU venues that unfolded 
as I gazed upward at the ceiling. Conversely, I've 
also spent a good deal of time with headphones 
watching the clouds, birds, or the moon from 
my backyard. This piece is a reflection on those 
experiences. A handful of melodic ideas are slowly 
revealed and then unfolded in the way that we lose 
focus in staring at a static image-kind of like when 
you look at a single word for so long that it starts to 
look misspelled. In three parts, I try to represent 
the different situations where music and sights 
overhead have collided to produce a memorable 
musical experience. I encourage you to turn your 
gaze upward, away from the musician(s) for this 
piece, any other on this program, and at any other 
time you want to escape from the present reality. 

This is the third out of four movements from a very 
recently finished piece for Bassoon with digital 
delay and piano. Each movement form the larger 
work is based on different photographs I took in 
the spring and summer of 2012, using the iPhone 
app Instagram. These square, filtered photos 
function as a preserved moment from a particular 
time in my life, and each movement recalls both the 
character of the photo itself as well as my memory 
of that moment. This movement is inspired by a 
picture of my good friend Max, as he sits in front 
of the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery in 
Washington, DC. This is the sole movement 
without piano, prompting the bassoon to perform 
multiphonics and time-stretching rhythms over a 
self-generated accompaniment. The whole piece 
is commissioned by and dedicated to Dr. Ryan 

/ COULD I discovered the poetry of Jose Padua in the 
LEAVE ALL THIS Winchester Book Gallery downtown. I opened 
(2011-2012} a ''tt' e green book to the first poem which told 
of throwing up in a guitar then singing at your 
true love's window. Needless to say I was taken 
immediately. I bought the book, entitled The 
Complete Failure of Everything, took it home 
and started to find ways to make music with its 

The beauty in these poems is their clarity and 
sincerity. Each poem in this piece can be taken 
from a multitude of perspectives depending 
on the reader's background. Since I am only 
one person, the four songs you will hear are 
cultivated from my choices and responses to 
each poem. Hopefully this will highlight a theme 
underlying much of Padua's poetry: our different 
perspectives, uniqueness and individuality 
highlight the fact that each of us is still a human 
with a brain and a beating heart. 

The premiere performance took place as part of 
the first Community Art Forum on January 28, 
2012, at the Espresso Bar and Cafe in downtown 
Winchester, where it was performed by Brittany, 
Linda, Kipyn, and Kelley Connelly. The work is 
dedicated to Maddie, Kipyn, Max, Abby, and all 
the artists and freaks. It is presented with utmost 
thanks to Jose, Heather, Maggie, and Julien. 

to hear more work 

from my time at shenandoah, visit 

all music on this program, except 
Declaration From the Occupation 
is copyright © 2012 
Greg Brown / Cat Shirt Publishing, 
all rights reserved 

poems from / could leave all this 
are copyright © 2012 jose padua, 
used with permission